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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Vacant fire station in Minn. becomes roller-sports park

  • A former fire station in Mankato that's been transformed into a temporary skateboard park is drawing raves from teens who say it turned out better than they expected and from neighbors who say their early concerns have faded.
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  • A former fire station in Mankato that's been transformed into a temporary skateboard park is drawing raves from teens who say it turned out better than they expected and from neighbors who say their early concerns have faded.
    The park opened Saturday to positive reviews. The fire station was vacated by the city and is up for sale, so officials figured it'd be a good place for a temporary park until a new roller-sports park is finished later this year, the Mankato Free Press reported.
    The park was packed this weekend with children on skateboards, inline skates and scooters.
    Connor Hopkins, 18, said he was pleased with how smooth the ramps are.
    "I'm really happy with the way it turned out," Hopkins said.
    Parents had been taking their kids to the Twin Cities to use an indoor park there, after a local park was destroyed by a fire on Feb. 1. The Chesley Roller Sports Park is being rebuilt, but in the meantime the current site has pleased parents and children.
    Chesley Park and the temporary site are operated by the YMCA. CEO John Kind surveyed the packed house and said he was gratified by the turnout.
    "The best thing is looking at how much fun the kids are having — the smiles on their faces," he said.
    Eleanor Kottke, who lives across the street, said neighbors were initially worried about noise. Now that it's open, she said, it's nice to see that kids have a place to have good, clean fun.

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